Gary Fung’s extremely popular Ping! iPhone-to-iPhone messenger was replaced over the weekend by its official successor, PingChat! 2. No one will be crying over the demise of the original, however, as this new messaging app features a brand new UI, tons of new features, and is available for free.
PingChat! 2 resembles the original in functionality, as it provides iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad users with a way to communicate directly with other iDevice users via text messages and media messages. You and your recipient will also still need to have a registered PingChat! ID in order to communicate, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end.
PingChat! 2 features a new UI that’s very simple to use and doesn’t require you to dig through menus to activate features like the previous version. Media messaging is now available free of charge instead of as an in-app purchase, and the app also now supports voice notes. Another big addition is group messaging, allowing multiple users to have a conversation in one easy to view screen.
The original version of Ping!, which was downloaded over three million times, had quite a few server issues and sometimes messages would get lost in the shuffle. PingChat! 2 addresses that issue with new servers and infrastructure provided by Enflick, and a new message confirmation indicator that instantly shows you whether or not your message has been received and viewed.
PingChat! 2 improves on the original in almost every way while still providing all of the features that allowed it to compete with other similar apps in the App Store. Although, even with all of these improvements, its biggest selling point may wind up being the fact that it’s available for free. The app currently is ad-free, but after the introductory promotion, ads will begin to pop up. These ads will be removable via in-app purchase if you so choose.
Enflick has also promised that PingChat! 2 will be available for both Android and Blackberry in the near future, which will finally allow you to go outside of your iDevice messaging circle.